This year Egypt plays host to the World Wind Energy Conference, WWEC2011, in Cairo. During the event in November, attention will focus on bolstering cooperation between Europe and Egypt on renewable energy development and how to accelerate wind energy deployment in the MENA region.
As Egypt undergoes a period of political transition, the host country of WWEC2011 is making good progress with its ambitious plans to increase substantially the share of wind and other renewable energies. The Government of Egypt for example recently signed two important agreements with the European Union.
The first involves a grant agreement of €3 million to develop a Renewable Energy Framework for wind and solar power generation in Egypt will serve as the basis for future investments contributing to the goal of global climate change protection. The lead financial institution for the plan is the German KFW and the consortium includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French AFD.
Meanwhile, Egypt also signed contracts totalling €340 million for a 200-MW wind farm in Gabal El Zeit. The new wind farm will be the largest ever in Egypt comprising of 100 turbines, with a capacity of 2 MW each.
The project encompasses 3 contracts, one for the turbines and controls, another for the civil and electromechanical works and the third for the substations. The Project is funded through the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) that includes grants €30 million from the European Commission and €310 million soft loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the German KFW and the French AFD, besides funding from the government of Egypt for the local content. The project is expected to operate in 2014 and deliver 741 GWh per year saving the oil equivalent of 160,000 tons annually.
"After long time of political stagnation and still rather modest investment in wind energy, Egypt is now in a period of fundamental transition which will make our country the wind and solar powerhouse of the MENA region,” explains Prof. Dr. Galal Osman, President of the Egypt Wind Energy Association and Co-Chair of WWEC2011. "Energy is a key for economic development and wealth and for the future prospects of all people all over the world. It will be of crucial importance in particular for the Middle East and North African region to tap its huge wind and solar potentials,” says Stefan Gsänger, World Wind Energy Association Secretary General. “Making use of these practically infinite resources will create jobs and enhance emerging industries, a key in order to strengthen the democratic transitions in these countries.”
The 10th World Wind Energy Conference & Renewable Energy Exhibition, WWEC2011, will take place at the headquarters of the League of Arab States in Cairo from 31 October to 2 November 2011. More than 100 top experts from all over the world will present their latest achievements during the conference, which is being organised under the theme 'Converting Deserts into Powerhouses'.